Writing Facilitative Commentary: Clear and Complete Thoughts


Making the transition from writing directive commentary to facilitative requires learning new techniques. The first technique is writing in clear and complete thoughts. Writing comments in full statements instead of phrases or abbreviations supply more information and explain the specific problems with the writing. For example, after stating an author's observation that drug addicts turn to crime to pay for their habit, a student named Nancy writes, "Due to this we spend unnecessary money protecting inocent citizen by means of law enforcement, jails, and ect" (Rhetoric exercise). Most teachers prefer that students avoid using "etc" and instead explain to what the abbreviation refers. A teacher using the directive approach would cross out "etc" and perhaps write NO next to it. These marks do not tell Nancy why "etc" is inappropriate. On the other hand, the following facilitative comment eliminates the ambiguity: "Generally, it's best to avoid using 'etc' in persuasive writing because you want to communicate your ideas in their entirety to your reader. What other things to taxpayers spend money on to protect society from drug-related crime?" These complete statements provide Nancy with solid information that will help her improve her paper. They also teach her something she can take beyond this particular assignment.



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